EL Support Lesson

Learn to Compare and Contrast

Your students will learn academic vocabulary and use a graphic organizer to compare and contrast two short stories. Use this as a stand-alone lesson or as an introduction to the Comparing and Contrasting Short Stories lesson plan.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for theComparing and Contrasting Short StoriesLesson plan.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for theComparing and Contrasting Short StoriesLesson plan.

Students will be able to compare and contrast short stories.


Students will be able to use key vocabulary and a graphic organizer to compare and contrast two short stories.

(1 minute)
Compare and Contrast: Short StoriesGraphic Organizer Template: Frayer ModelTeach Background Knowledge TemplateWrite Student-Facing Language Objectives ReferenceVocabulary Cards: Learn to Compare and ContrastGlossary: Learn to Compare and ContrastCompare and Contrast: Short Stories
  • Tell students that today they will be learning how to compare two stories. Explain that to CompareIs to say how something is like something else.
(10 minutes)
  • Explain that before we begin, we will need to learn new vocabulary.
  • Present the rest of the tiered vocabulary terms. Use the vocabulary cards as you define each word and allow students to discuss how the visual relates to the new word.
  • Complete a Frayer Model with the students for the word compare, and check student comprehension throughout by asking them to orally repeat the definition or provide examples.
  • Divide students into seven groups, each of which to complete a Frayer Model for an assigned tiered vocabulary word.
(8 minutes)
  • Allow students to write their own sentences with the new vocabulary words. For example: "I compared an apple to an orange."
  • Ask student volunteers to come up to the projector/smart board and circle the vocabulary words in their sentences. Then have them share their sentences aloud.
(10 minutes)
  • Distribute the Compare and Contrast: Short Stories worksheet to students. Project your copy.
  • Explain that these stories have things that are different and things that are alike.
  • Ask students to follow along with their fingers as you read the stories aloud.
  • Present each section of the graphic organizer on the back, reviewing new vocabulary.
  • Ask students to work in partnerships to reread every other sentence of the stories.
  • Ask students to turn to a partner and discuss the following questions:
    • What is the problem in the story?
    • Why is it a problem?
    • What do you think the solution is?
  • Explain that their answers may be a little different from one another's.
  • Project written sentence frames for students to reference during partner discussion. For example: "I think the problem is ____Because ____."
  • After partner discussion, have students complete the graphic organizer.


  • Provide students with definitions in both English and their home language (L1) if they are literate in their home language.
  • Allow beginning EL students to form a small group that works with you.


  • Encourage students to compare and contrast two picture books previously read aloud in class.
(3 minutes)
  • Circulate the room during partner work time, informally assessing reading comprehension, listening, and speaking.
  • Collect the Compare and Contrast: Short Stories worksheets to review for comprehension, content, and mechanics.
  • Student comprehension and writing abilities should be noted for future small group work.
(3 minutes)
  • Review the components of each story in the Compare and Contrast: Short Stories worksheet as a class.
  • Ask your students, "How do you feel about comparing and contrasting stories?" Have students hold up one finger if they are still unsure of how to compare and contrast stories, two or three fingers if they feel they are beginning to understand, and five fingers if they feel very comfortable and can demonstrate their understanding.

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